AACPLL Blog

Law Library News

“Watson” and legal research

Posted by Joan Bellistri on February 15, 2011

I watched the IBM computer “Watson” compete on Jeopardy last night against the two all time Jeopardy champions.  I have to admit that I was relieved when the evening ended with Watson in a tie with one of the humans.  Still, I couldn’t help but think how this technology could change the way we find information in the future on the Internet and the legal databases we use now for legal research.

Robert C. Weber is an IBM and senior vice president and among other things general counsel for IBM.  His article,  Why ‘Watson’ Matters to Lawyers, published in the Law Technology News today describes the technology, known as Deep QA, behind Watson and how it could  improve the ability to retrieve and evaluate information.  Weber, however, does not see Watson or Deep QA as a replacement for an attorney but as technology that “can unquestionably extend our capabilities …”

Tonight we will see how Watson does in double Jeopardy.

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